(Topic ID: 91310)

Bally Spy Hunter Not Starting After MPU Test Complete

By Duncan

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by KenH
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 5 years ago

Hi all,

This is pretty new to me after just bringing my 4 Bally machines out of storage after 15 years.

I'd like to ascertain whether it is feasible to do remedial work on Spy Hunter to get it into a usable state.

The alternative would be selling up in its current state and handing over to a professional.


- The playfield and backlight lamps illuminate.
- Machine's MPU completes the 7 flashes (+flicker).
- There is a solenoid or relay click on flash 5 and again after flash 7.
- There is no activity on the plasma displays although the CREDIT/Ball# display has a small orange dot at the bottom.
- There is no sound at all.
- Pressing the game start button initiates a new game as expected indicated only by the playfield lamps.
- The ball fails to be kicked out into play.
- Flippers function as normal.

I have some basic skills and test equipment (multimeter testing / soldering)
Is anyone able to suggest any steps i might take to test?

I've uploaded a short video of symptoms here:

Many thanks in advance.


#2 5 years ago

With power off, try carefully re-seating all the connectors on the boards then see what you get. After sitting 15 years, I'm sure there is at the very least some oxidation on them.

#3 5 years ago

Thanks for the reply, WOLF.

Tried disconnecting every board mounted connector as well as in-line connectors, giving them a wipe with dry blue-roll where possible then reconnected. No change.

I've also tried replacing 5101 (U8) and 6800 (U9) with known working with same results.
I've tried connecting only J1 and J4 on the MPU with similar results.
Given that it seems the machine achieves "attract mode", i'm not sure the above steps prove anything.

Unusual for a Pinball of this era, this MPU is totally corrosion free. I'm even still using the original battery (isolated with extended cabling) which seems to hold charge fine.

It may be worthy of note that I also have three other similar machines which i can interchange parts with for testing purposes.

#4 5 years ago
Quoted from Duncan:

- The ball fails to be kicked out into play

Does the solenoid fire for the ball kicker?

#5 5 years ago

Check if the playfield fuse is blown. It's located under playfield near the apron.

Are all solenoids out except for flippers on playfield?

#6 5 years ago

Thanks again for the replies.

It would indeed appear that all solenoids except the flippers are not functioning, including the ball kicker. (Sensors seem to be ok as lights react to some targets.)

Playfield fuse is not blown. Tested with multimeter in situ. 1AMP slo-blo is thick and visibly good.

Any ideas given the above?

#7 5 years ago

Check the F4 fuse on the power supply to see if it's blown.

#8 5 years ago

hmm.. F4 fuse at first inspection was suspiciously smaller than the others in the row.

It would seem its been replaced at some point with a standard UK plug 5 AMP fuse... I'm guessing this is pretty wrong.


The fuse does work though.

...I'm heading out now but will pick this up as soon as i can.

Thanks for your help.

#9 5 years ago

Well I don't know for sure, as long as it was making good contact, it's fast acting, and not blown, 5 amp is 5 amp. But that is the circuit for the solenoid bus.

#10 5 years ago

Is there voltage on the coils? If not, you probably have a break in the power chain.

#11 5 years ago

In fact, measure voltage on both sides of the playfield fuse.

#12 5 years ago

+43VDC at all solenoids ans either side of the playfield fuse (near apron).

Would it make sense to swap out the solenoid board for a known working one?

#13 5 years ago

Print this test point list out. Check each test point and write down the value. With a Bally/ Stern of this era the problem will usually present itself or show you where to look after checking all the TP values. Always check the ground TP for continuity.

Rectifier Power Supply Board:
• TP1 = +5.4 vdc (AS2518-18 version), +6.5 vdc (AS2518-49 & -54 versions) feature lamps.
• TP2 = +230 vdc (score displays) with connector J3 attached, 150 vdc with J3 disconnected.
• TP3 = +13 to 16.5 vdc with connector J3 disconnect, +12 to 14 vdc with J3 connected. This voltage will become the +5 regulated voltage.
• TP4 = 5.7 to 7.3 volts AC (general illumination)
• TP5 = +43 vdc (solenoid voltage)
• GND = Ground

MPU board:
• TP1 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc
• TP2 = +12 to 14 vdc
• TP3 = +21.5 vdc (comes from +43 vdc solenoid voltage). NOTE: If a -133 MPU board (with a 1N4148 diode at R113, as used on Granny and the Gators, Baby Pacman, & Grand Slam), TP3 will read about 5 volts DC.
• TP4 = Ground
• TP5 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc

Solenoid Driver/Voltage Regulator board:
• TP1 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc
• TP2 = +190 vdc (but often turned down to 170 volts to increase score display life).
• TP3 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc
• TP4 = +230 vdc
• TP5 = +12 vdc to 16.5 vdc
Note if TP2 and TP4 are both 230 vdc, then the High Voltage portion of the solenoid driver board is not working and needs to be repaired.

Lamp Driver board:
• TP1 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc
• TP2 = Ground
• TP3 = (only on AS2519-23 version)

Auxiliary Lamp Driver board:
• TP1 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc
• TP2 = Ground

Display Driver boards:
• TP1 = +4.9 to 5.2 vdc
• TP2 = +190 vdc
• TP3 = Ground

#14 5 years ago


Great list, thanks for posting. Not sure why this hadn't occurred to me before. Ran tests on all TPs and got values in line with the numbers stated above on everything except the Display Driver Boards.

All Display Driver Boards give TP1 as -0.83VDC and TP2 as +166VDC. I'm assuming TP2 is ok at 166 but there is definitely something wrong with TP1. Where does it pick up this voltage from? Assuming its from the MPU? Something shorting out maybe?

FYI The Solenoid Driver had two other test points TP6 = 5VDC and TP7 = 5VDC.

Thanks again

#15 5 years ago

The schematic is available for this game at IPDB and comes in really handy here.

It looks like the 5v for the display comes in on pin 20 of the display board, from a3j3 - 17, so follow that back and I bet you'll find a bad connector pin or a bad header.


#16 5 years ago

Progress! Real Progress!

Checked and cleaned A3J3-17 and we now have attract mode and game play. Thank you KenH for your recommendation on that. No idea how you deciphered that from the schematic?!

-Displays are a little abstract with some segments copied from others etc.
-Sound disappointingly "Dinging".
-Biggest issue seems that once the ball is returned to the Out Hole, the players score doesn't finish tallying. It just keeping increasing. The only way i can find to stop this is a power cycle, meaning game is only good for one round.

I've taken another short video to show characteristics:

I'd assume that the displays and maybe sound would be sorted by cleaning more contacts. Could the same be said for the score tally issue?

Thanks so much for your help with this!

#17 5 years ago

Try stepping through the audits and settings in self test and clearing everything out. Set your replay scores and then for entries #16 and up set them all to 03 for correct sounds. The manual tells you how to do all this.

If this doesn't fix your bonus count issue I would suspect either the 5101 CMOS RAM or the 6810 RAM is bad.

#18 5 years ago

Try taking your displays out and re-flow the header pins, they suffer from cracked joints. Also check the pins in the plug for corrosion or broken pins.

#19 5 years ago

Working Perfectly!

Guys, can't thank you all enough for you combined help with this. This thing has been out of commission for 15 years. I honestly didn't expect it to work again.

Replaced the 5101 on the MPU and all issues are fixed. Displays all perfect, score under control etc. Sound was just a setting on self test options.

This is such an addictive game.. So many good memories!


#20 5 years ago

So let me get this right it was pin17-20 on the mpu causing all the outhole probs? I have been doing this intermittenltly for a while. I totally went through the game to get it working and when I got it to my buddies house the outhole and left flipper didnt work. I did everything from rebuilding mpu reset to driver rebuild to PS rebuild and that is what caused it?My 4.7 uf on the sound board kept toasting and I changed it to a axial instead of tantalum. I really thought it was the flipper enable on the sol drv. that is all I didnt replace on that. Holy cow. I think its 18 to set to 93 and 16 and 17 set to 02 while 19 needs to be00 in selftest. dip switch setting are a pain on this game I couldnt beliwve the issues I ran into. The worst was after startup I would run a solenoid test and the outhole would work and then 1 and 3 would trigger the pop bumper. could that be attributed to pin 17-20 problem too? I needed help bad at the time. REAL BAD. you guys know your s--t. is the spy background music playing while gameplay is playing?

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from imcaptainpinball:

The worst was after startup I would run a solenoid test and the outhole would work and then 1 and 3 would trigger the pop bumper. could that be attributed to pin 17-20 problem too?

No, J4 connector on MPU needs to be repinned. If not that, then J4 on SDB needs to be repinned. (I would do both anyway.)

Quoted from imcaptainpinball:

I think its 18 to set to 93 and 16 and 17 set to 02 while 19 needs to be00 in selftest.

Set all of them to 03.

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from Duncan:

Working Perfectly! This is such an addictive game.. So many good memories!

Good deal, glad it's working. I got to play one at TPF, it brought back memories for me too.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from Duncan:

No idea how you deciphered that from the schematic?!

This part of the schematic showed the corresponding connector (for future reference).

Glad you got it working!

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